A guard hailed a hero after the shooting dead of a gunman who stormed the Canadian parliament last year has been unveiled as the country’s new ambassador to Ireland.
Kevin Vickers, 58, the House of Commons sergeant-at-arms in Ottawa, confronted rifle-wielding Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on October 22 last during a gun fight in the building, down the hall from where parties were holding meetings.
In what was described as a terror attack, Zehaf-Bibeau had earlier gunned down Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, who was assigned to the honour guard at the city’s national war memorial.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed Mr Vickers appointment as Canadian Ambassador to Ireland.
“His appointment is testament to Mr Vickers’ long years of service to the people of Canada, most recently as Sergeant-at-Arms at Canada’s House of Commons,” he said.
“No-one can forget that in October 2014, he was commended by all Canadian political parties for his central role arising from the attack on the Parliament and the main war memorial in Ottawa.”
Mr Vickers has a strong Irish-Canadian background.
His family have been involved in Irish affairs in New Brunswick for many years.
At the time of the Ottawa attack, Canada’s prime minister Stephen Harper called the shooting a terror attack.
The day after the shoot out Mr Vickers, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was greeted by parliamentarians with a lengthy and noisy standing ovation as he took up his post again in the House of Commons.